Where In The Hell Is The Lavender House? The Longmont Potion Castle Story
An unpaid camera operator is left to finish the film a bumbling pair of filmmakers attempt to make about the greatest anonymous phone-work artist of all time - Longmont Potion Castle.
Featuring interviews with Rainn Wilson, Andrew Bujalski, Pissed Jeans, Municipal Waste, NBS Electronics, Twist and Shout, Pig Destroyer, Weyes Blood, Cattle Decapitation, Pinback, and a variety of hard-core fans, 'Where In The Hell Is The Lavender House: The Longmont Potion Castle Story,' peeks behind the curtain of America's Underground Prank Call King, and documents a film doomed to fail from the beginning.
In the spring of 2016 two amateur filmmakers set out to make a film about an anonymous prank caller named "Longmont Potion Castle." For over thirty years Longmont Potion Castle (or LPC, as he is known to his fans) has been beguiling and bedevilling the citizens of Denver, Colorado and beyond with his unique, off-the-wall and surreal brand of phone art insanity.
After a semi-successful crowd-funding campaign, the filmmakers set out to document the life of LPC by interviewing his many fans, explore the city of Denver (integral to LPC calls) and hopefully find the reclusive and elusive anonymous prankster and interview him on camera. But things quickly went south. Lies, deceit and outright fraud derailed the production, and the filmmakers went bankrupt...the LPC doc was dead.
That's where I come in. My name is Thomas D. Rotenberg...indie filmmaker and DOP that was hired to shoot the LPC doc. When the LPC production stopped, I was owed many a paycheck, and so I kept all the footage of the film I'd shot as collateral. Months passed, and it was evident I would never get paid, so I started looking through the footage to see if anything could be salvaged and delivered to the people who had donated to the film.
Pretty soon a story emerged...it might not have been the story the original filmmakers were trying to tell, but it was a story nonetheless: a story of two failed filmmakers trying their best to document an anonymous prankster. And so, this docume
ntary I pieced together is their story, a little bit of my story and ultimately, the story of the man, the myth and the legend...Longmont Potion Castle
director Thomas D Rotenberg
About Longmont Potion Castle
The LA Record describes Longmont Potion Castle's albums as unlike those that most people associate with prank telephone calls, citing that his demeanor is nothing at all like that of The Jerky Boys and Crank Yankers and is actually closer to that of the alternative comedian Neil Hamburger.In a review from the Denver Westword, LPC's recordings are described as advancing "absurdity as an art form."
The anonymous artist has himself described the albums he has made as "phone work" or "absurdist" art rather than the less sophisticated label of "prank phone calls", and has also said, "They may be dumb, but they're not stupid". Those on the receiving end of a Longmont Potion Castle call are often left confused and/or extremely angry, as the calls frequently involve complaints about noise, requests for money or offers to "whoop" somebody. However his calls are rarely very mean-spirited in nature. His recordings combine prank calls with sound collages and his own musical compositions, the majority of which are thrash metal instrumentals. Occasionally, Longmont Potion Castle filters his voice through a Digitech RDS 8000 rack-mounted digital delay unit to produce odd sound effects, thus making whoever he has called even more confused.
In 2006, Longmont Potion Castle announced his retirement. In an interview with The Nerve Magazine, he explained that the box set Longbox Option Package would be the final LPC
release. However, in 2008 he released a new CD, Longmont Potion Castle Volume 6. In 2009, he released Volume 7 (not to be confused with his 2005 album of the same name released as a part of the Longbox Option Package box set, a disc that contained only thrash metal music). The album featured several celebrity calls, including ones to singer Eddie Money, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, and guitarist Rick Derringer. January 2011 saw the release of LPC 8, in which the artist primarily used Skype on a laptop computer to record the calls.
Lost in Norway
Part of the reason original director David Hall, and original producer Vivek Venkatesh wasted so much money on the production of their documentary was a wild-goose chase they went on across parts of Europe looking for LPC. They were provided with false information as to the location of LPC and ended up in London, England and Norway. During their trip to Norway they became horribly lost and eventually arrived at a house they believed LPC lived in. With cameras rolling they approached the house, only to find an angry, Gimp-maksed Norwegian living there...he was not happy to see the Canadian filmmakers.
I am not a producer on this thing...
After an interview with actor Rainn Wilson, conducted by original director David Hall, the cameras, still rolling, catch Rainn reprimanding David Hall for using his name to raise awareness for the project, and for stating online that Rainn was an executive producer.
Kicked out by Dave Mustaine
During filming at a heavy metal and beer festival where legendary Megadeth and Metallica shredder Dave Mustaine was launching his new beer, original director David Hall was kicked out of the fest for harassing Mustaine and asking him what he thought of Longmont Potion Castle during another interview Mustaine was conducting.
Crazy Town (Live Performance)
When the new millennium arrived the music industry was in the midst of a new music revolution. The free delivery via shared files online created a new “outlaw” brand, that would prove instrumental in the way music would be not just delivered but created. One of the breakout bands to not just embrace but help shift the tectonic plates of the music industry was Crazy Town. As one of the first hybrid brands, they brought a new ball into the game. Equal parts urban and suburban, Chevrolet and Bentley, they rolled onto the music scene with a slow build that erupted when a “Butterfly” entered the room. The two founding members, Seth Binzer and Bret Mazur were introduced to each other by WILL I AM of the BLACK EYED PEAS. Binzer brought in his long-time friend DJ AM and Crazytown was born.
The band was all the buzz in the industry, the talk of LA. Crazytown-mania created a classic Hollywood record label bidding war in which Columbia Records ultimately won. It was the Columbia/Sony worldwide reach which appealed the most to Crazytown and that reach had them touring the world and eventually garnered them a number 1 record in more than 15 countries, and selling more than 6 million copies of their first album, THE GIFT OF GAME. The success of their worldwide smash hit Butterfly in 2001was inescapable and reached iconic status.
In 2003, CrazyTown released the follow up to GIFT OF GAME, titled DARKHORSE. Couched by record executives to deliver a harder sound, the band did not follow their instincts in the studio. DARKHORSE was not the follow up record the band wanted to, or should have delivered. The luke warm reception by the media, and lackluster sales of the sophomore effort strained the relationship between the label and the band. Whether or not Crazytown was a vicitim of the changing playing field or of their own success, they found themselves without a record deal soon thereafter. Mazur and Binzer decided to take a little hiatus and re-energize for what would be Crazytowns third record. Binzer went on to have great success with a solo effort and Paul Oakenfold’s Starry Eyed Surprise. Mazur went back to his roots as a Writer/Producer/remixer working with the likes of The Plain White Tees, Julien K, Hollywood Undead and many more.
Months turned to years, and it wasn’t until Bret called Seth to discuss releasing an album of unreleased Crazytown songs that the spark was re-ignited. They decided to get back into the studio and add one, or two brand new songs to the mix. In Mazur’s words “I just felt like we had all these songs that our fans would love to hear! Why let them die in my hard drive.” One or two new songs turned into a complete reformation of a new Crazytown. “We are taking it back to our roots, for the love of what we do”, stated Binzer.
If you were lucky enough to catch the sneak preview of their new track “Lemon Face” you know they mean business. A full record release is in the works for 2014. Well poised for reinvigorating their fans and banging out new ones, the band launches live with a handful of Southwest US dates, including the legendary Whiskey A Go Go in Hollywood. Then it is off to Europe in June to own their slot at uber music fests Rock In Park & Rock Am Ring in Germany, and NovaRock in Austria, before crushing it at Download in the UK. The tour is rounded out by other high profile festivals, and some headline shows.
Crazytown is back. Crazytown is wi
Jimmy Flemion (of the Frogs)
Jimmy Flemion is a founding member, with his older brother Dennis Flemion, of controversial independent rock band The Frogs. Jimmy is mostly the lead singer and guitarist for the group. He has been known to play solo shows with just an acoustic guitar.
In 1996, the brothers toured with The Smashing Pumpkins on the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness Tour. During the encores of "1979", Jimmy, clad with a silver bat-winged suit, would pick members of the audience to dance onstage.
The brothers Flemion also appeared on the Pumpkins' "Medellia of the Gray Skies" on the band's single, Tonight, Tonight. On Adore, the brothers backed vocals for "To Sheila" and "Behold! The Night-Mare".